Murder Charges for Cops Who Killed Tyre Nichols - The Friday AM Quickie 1/27/22

BuzzFeed's CEO says they're going to do more computer-generated articles, which is very exciting to investors who want to stop paying for journalists. That's the sort of moral depravity it takes to be a media executive in 2023. Say what you will about that creepy rightwing dinosaur, Rupert Murdoch, but he still appreciates artisanal human hackwork. - Corey

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Five Cops Catch Murder Charges in Tyre Nichols Killing

When is the last time Americans saw such swift action on police accountability? Well, when is the last time all of the police officers facing accountability were Black? Prosecutors in Memphis, Tennessee yesterday charged five fired city cops with second-degree murder, kidnapping, official misconduct and related charges in the death of 29-year-old Tyre Nichols, who loved photography and skateboarding and was father to a 4-year-old son. Nichols died after the cops severely beat him following a traffic stop. Per the Washington Post:

After viewing surveillance and body-camera video of the arrest on Monday, lawyers for Nichols's family said he was kicked, punched and Tasered less than 100 yards from his home. A police spokesperson said officers pulled Nichols over for alleged reckless driving, and Nichols fled on foot before he was ultimately arrested.

The body camera footage will be released tonight. Tennessee Bureau of Investigation director David Rausch calls the violence in those videos "absolutely appalling." It's hard not to grow somewhat accustomed to state violence, but the video must be pretty bad. In a statement yesterday, President Joe Biden expressed "heartfelt condolences" to Nichols' family and called for "peaceful protest."

It isn't only the race of the officers that's driving the pace of justice in this case. The new white district attorney for Shelby County, Steven Mulroy, is a progressive Democrat who, per the New York Times, "campaigned on a platform of criminal justice reform and increased accountability." And the Post says Memphis Police Chief Cerelyn Davis, "who joined the department in 2021 as its first Black, female chief, has been a leading voice for police reform since the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police officers in 2020." But you can bet that if the officers facing murder charges were white, the entire conservative political-media machine would be loudly defending their honor. Don't worry though, Fox News is figuring out a way to blame Black Lives Matter for all this as we speak.

Biden Mocks Republican Economic Plans

President Joe Biden yesterday bragged about how the economy is doing on his watch and attacked the House GOP's "MAGA economic plan" -- which includes a stunningly regressive proposal for a national sales tax -- in a speech at a steamfitters union hall in Springfield, Virginia. "This ain't your father's Republican Party," Biden said. "This is a different breed of cat." The latest Commerce Department figures show the U.S. economy is still growing, but that doesn't mean everybody's doing great. As the New York Times reports, most American renters are now "rent-burdened," meaning they're spending at least 30 percent of their income on rent. And paying subscribers who read yesterday's newsletter know that the White House has no plan to do anything about that.

Good News: Feinstein Appears to Know What Year It Is

A Capitol Hill reporter asked 89-year-old California Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein this week if she would be running for reelection in 2024 and she replied "Umm, I don't know" after suggesting she wouldn't announce her intentions until next year. Feinstein, whose memory is reportedly getting rapidly worse, previously told the Los Angeles Times she would reveal her plans "probably by spring." Either way, California Democrats are ready for a change. Yesterday Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff announced he'd be joining the field of contenders to replace Feinstein, who so far include Reps. Katie Porter and Barbara Lee. Meanwhile in Washington, D.C., Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego has been busy laying out his strategy for unseating "independent" incumbent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, as Politico reports that progressives are preparing to line up behind the Latino Marine Corps veteran.


  • Israeli Soldiers Kill 9 Palestinians, Injure 20 in Jenin Raid The raid's death toll, which includes a 61-year-old woman, is the highest for a single operation in at least 15 years. via the Guardian.
  • Trump's Own Special Counsel John Durham Secretly Investigated Trump's Finances Italian officials tipped off Durham and Attorney General Bill Barr to "certain suspected financial crimes" involving Trump, who was counting on Durham to serve his agenda. via the New York Times.
  • Another Fox Newser Alleges 'Years of Sexual Abuse' and Blackmail Former Fox News events director Laura Luhn claims leadership knew that late CEO Roger Ailes had photographed her "in compromising positions" and called the images his "insurance policy." via HuffPost.
  • Chris Rufo's College Trustee Gig Off to Laughably Bad Start The Republican operative appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to the New College of Florida board inspired groans and laughter when he vowed to "liberate the campus" from druggies" and "weirdos." via the Washington Post.


15 billion

That's how many political text messages were sent in the U.S. last year, according to a company that studied them. The overwhelming majority of those messages -- 12 billion -- were sent by Republican campaigns.


1/27: It's Casual Friday! Sam and Emma host David Dayen, executive editor at The American Prospect to round up the week in news. Then, they're joined by David Feldman of The David Feldman Show!


Ron DeSantis Bans AP Black History in Florida

As Sam says, "this is just out-and-out, full-on racism – and censorship."

Musician's Powerful Senate Testimony Rips Ticket Fee Monopolies

I never expected to say this, but more people should've listened to Eddie Vedder.


"hiiiiiiiiiiiitlerrrrrrrrrrr (hight hitler)
"lolololololololololololol sombody kill her!! the jews and black mostly lolllolol!!! Dum"

-- New York Republican Rep. George Santos in a March 2011 Facebook comment sent to a Long Island Patch reporter by a former friend. The fabulist conman and freshman congressman, who falsely claimed to be descended from Holocaust survivors, posted the comment under an image of someone "making what appears to be a military salute with the caption 'something like Hitler.'"

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